Herald-Journal
Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal,October 19, 1998

Let's have chicken, but don't fry the feathers

By OPAL "GRANDMA" HABISCH

One day recently a Mother asked, "How would you like chicken for dinner?"

All of her children answered, "Oh, yes! Oh, yes!" They all loved chicken.

So mother went to the store and got a big package of chicken, all cleaned and cut up and they had chicken for dinner.

It is easy to have chicken now - just wash it good and fry it. But 50 years ago, it was a big job to get a chicken ready for dinner. We only had it for company or on Sundays.

If you wanted to eat fried chicken in those days, you would have to plan ahead. If you lived on a farm, you would go into the chicken house after dark when the chickens were locked up for the night and catch one to eat the next day.

If you lived in a small town, you could go to a nearby farm and order a chicken. The farmer would catch one for you that night and you would have to come back for it the next day.

I think we payed 50 cents for small chickens and 75 cents for a big roaster. Of course, you still had to pick their feathers and clean them after you brought them home.

You would boil some water and dip the dead chicken into it. Then you could pick the feathers off. It was a dirty job and every feather would have to be removed.

Sometimes you would miss a small one and after you fried the chicken, the darn feather would stick out. There was only one thing you could do then - you would pick it out and hope no one saw you do it.

Next you would have to clean the inside of the chicken out. It smelled terrible. When I was a very young girl, after I saw a chicken being cleaned, I never ate chicken, or pork, or beef.

Sometimes when you are eating fried chicken for dinner, check it out. Under the fried coating, maybe you will find a fried feather. It has happened to me - so now I only eat chicken if I am the one who has done the frying!

Good eating!


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